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Carne Asada Plate (Cast Iron Skillet)

Overhead view of Carne Asada Plate with chimichurri butter on a board

The Perfect Cuts For A Juicy Carne Asada

Authentic carne asada can be made with a good skirt, hanger, or flank steak cut.

Hanger steak, also known as butcher’s steak, is similar to skirt steak but slightly more tender. Skirt steak has more marbling, which makes it super flavorful and a perfect addition to a carne asada plate. On the other hand, flank steak is leaner but also has great flavor!

Flank steak is often more affordable and easier to find in local stores. If you’re unsure which one to go with, consider the budget and accessibility. 

All are delicious! And if you’re looking for a quick stir fry carne option, try carne picada, and if you’re not sure which one to go with, I talk about the differences in this carne picada vs carne asada: two classic dishes post.

Serving Portion Size

When cooking for larger groups, I gauge roughly 8 ounces or 1/2 pound per person or serving. That’s the weight before cooking.

The meat will lose water, and the fat will render out and lose volume, so you’ll end up with a smaller portion, which works perfectly based on the portions set aside before cooking.

The Key To The Best Carne Asada Recipe

Marinate the steak. It’s truly the best way to get those flavors into the meat. If you can, marinate the steak 24 hours before cooking (searing or grilling) the steak.

Tips When Marinating The Steak

You can rarely overdo it when marinating meat. You’ll want to get a potent combination of spices in there. The only advice would be not to make it overly salty. The marinade in this recipe doesn’t include any salt. The salt is added right before cooking.

When it comes to carne asada, cumin is the key ingredient that gives the steak its delicious flavor. This is especially true when combined with caramelized onions.

  1. Combine ingredients like cumin, coriander, and your favorite chiles.
  2. Pour the marinade over the steak, and make sure it’s coated well.
  3. Place in a bowl and cover well. Or place it in a plastic storage bag to seal the flavors nicely.
  4. Optional, but works well – add an acid like vinegar or lemon juice to tenderize the meat further.

Tips When Cooking Flank Steak Without A Grill

Use a cast iron skillet to get a nice sear and crust on the steak. Cast iron skillets can get hot and preheat well for even cooking.

Ingredients and Substitutions

All easy-to-find ingredients for a quick and potent marinade.

Steak & Marinade

  • Flank Steak or skirt steak
  • Cumin Powder I prefer to stick to organic cumin powders.
  • Coriander
  • Guajillo Pepper is a chile with a hint of fruitiness and mild heat. It’s so good on meats or chicken – like this Chipotle Pollo Asado (Copycat Recipe).
Overhead shot of ingredients for Marinade for carne asada

What To Serve With Carne Asada

What I love about making a carne asada platter is that you can add all of your favorite sides.

The Perfect Carne Asada Plate Sides

Baby Corn – For a touch of sweetness and crunch.

I added a tbsp of chimichurri butter to the seared steak. Follow this Quick Chimichurri Butter (15-minute) recipe for quick and easy instructions.

Cilantro Lime Rice is soo good with seared skirt steak or flank steak.

Mexican carne asada is served with corn tortillas for quick steak tacos, topped with salsa, fresh avocado, or beans.

Pickled Onions and Radishes – The slight tartness in pickled veggies pair so well with a fatty cut of steak.

Cilantro Garlic Sauce – creamy sour cream, lime, cilantro, and garlic sauce to add to a carne asada rice bowl.

Overhead angle of carne asada plate with white rice

Instructions For A Simple Carne Asada Platter

Step 1

Guajillo Pepper

Set water to boil. Remove the stem and seeds in the guajillo pepper.

Once the water boils, remove it from the heat and add the guajillo pepper – allow it to soften in the hot water for 5-10 minutes.

Then, add the guajillo pepper to a food processor and chop with 1/4 cup of the guajillo water. You’ll want a puree.

Marinade

Mix the marinade ingredients, including the cumin, coriander powder, and chopped guajillo pepper.

Marinate the Meat

Place the meat in a medium mixing bowl and pour the marinade ingredients on the steak, coating well.

Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour, ideally 24 hours. If you’re short on time, add the juice of a lime or lemon to the marinade. The acid will help tenderize the meat.

Step 2: Prepare The Pickled Onions

Heat the red wine vinegar mix in a pot, including the lime juice, sugar, and salt. Set aside to cool down.

Cut the red onions using this fajita onion cut. Follow this How To Cut Onions For Fajitas (Step-by-Step) for a quick guide.

Add the onions in an airtight glass container and submerge in the pickling juice. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour and serve with the seared carne asada plate.

Once the meat has marinated, remove it from the bowl and pat the meat with a paper towel to remove any excess marinade. Then, salt both sides of the meat and set it aside.

Step 3

Preheat the cast iron skillet.

Preheat on almost high heat, between medium to high. Depending on your stovetop, you’ll want to adjust it if it feels too hot.

Then, coat the pan with avocado oil and let it get hot before adding the steak.

When the oil sizzles, place the steak on the pan and cook each side for 2-3 minutes on high heat for medium-rare steak.

If you prefer a medium to well-done carne asada, cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Step 4

After cooking the steak to a golden crisp on the outside, set the steak aside and allow it to rest.

Then, prep your sides.

Baby Corn

Quickly sauté them in the same or different pan for 3-4 minutes on each side or until fork tender.

Set out the chimichurri butter in small bowls or smother on the carne asada with a brush.

Step 5

Once the steak has rested, slice it, sprinkle on a pinch of salt, and place it on the platter with your sides.

Storage and Reheating

Storage

If you have any leftovers, save them in a glass airtight container, ideally for up to 24 hours.

Reheating

Preheat a small skillet pan on medium to high heat, then quickly toss the steak for 3-4 minutes.

FAQs

How Much Carne Asada Per Person?

Each person should have approximately 1/2 pound of flank steak before cooking, as it will shrink slightly during cooking due to water loss and fat rendering.

What Sides Can I Serve With My Carne Asada Plate?

Carne asada goes well with sauces like chimichurri sauce, grain like white rice, and tortillas. A side of pickled onion is perfect and balances the richness of the flank steak.

Turn Carne Asada Plate Ingredients Into A Carne Asada Quesadilla

The trick to a super gooey quesadilla is folding and searing the quesadilla on the pan. These Pollo Asado Quesadillas Rellenas (Chipotle Copycat) take less than 5 minutes to make.

Just add your favorite melting cheese for the cheesy finish!

Check out this pollo asado quesadillas rellenas recipe.

Side view of Pollo asado quesadillas for carne asada recipe
Overhead view of Carne Asada Plate with chimichurri butter on a board

Carne Asada Plate

Olga Muñoz
A carne asada platter with baby corn, pickled onions, and radishes.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating 1 day
Total Time 1 day 25 minutes
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Latin
Servings 4 people
Calories 540 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Cast Iron Skillet 15"
  • 1 Medium-Sized Bowl
  • 1 Cutting Board
  • 1 Steak Knife
  • 1 Tongs

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs Flank Steak
  • 1/4 cup Avocado Oil
  • 1 Seasoning Salt to Taste

Baby Corn

  • 6 oz Baby Corn
  • 1 tbsp Grass-fed Butter
  • 1 Pinch of Salt to Taste

Pickled Onions and Radishes

  • 1 whole Red Onion
  • 2 whole Radishes
  • ¾ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Filtered Water
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 whole Lemon, juiced

Instructions
 

  • Step 1: Marinade
    Guajillo Pepper
    Set water to boil.
    Remove the stem and seeds in the guajillo pepper.
    Once the water boils, remove it from the heat and add the guajillo pepper – allow it to soften in the hot water for 5-10 minutes.
    Then, add the guajillo pepper to a food processor and chop with 1/4 cup of the guajillo water. You’ll want a puree.
    Marinade
    Mix the marinade ingredients, including the cumin, coriander powder, and chopped guajillo pepper.
    Marinate the Meat
    Place the meat in a medium mixing bowl and pour the marinade ingredients on the steak, coating well.
    Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour, ideally 24 hours. If you’re short on time, add the juice of a lime or lemon to the marinade. The acid will help tenderize the meat.
    Overhead shot of Marinating flank steak
  • Step 2: Prepare The Pickled Onions
    Heat the red wine vinegar mix in a pot, including the lime juice, sugar, and salt. Set aside to cool down.
    Cut the red onions using this fajita onion cut. Follow this How To Cut Onions For Fajitas (Step-by-Step) for a quick guide.
    Add the onions in an airtight glass container and submerge in the pickling juice. Place in the refrigerator for at least and hour and serve with the seared carne asada plate.
    Once the meat has marinated, remove it from the bowl and pat the meat with a paper towel to remove any excess marinade. Then salt both sides of the meat and set it aside.
    Side view of Pickled onions and radishes
  • Step 3
    Preheat the cast iron skillet.
    Preheat on almost high heat, between medium to high. Depending on your stovetop, you’ll want to adjust it if it feels too hot.
    Then, coat the pan with avocado oil and let it get hot before adding the steak.
    If the oil sizzles, place the steak on the pan and cook each side for 2-3 minutes on high heat for medium-rare steak. If you prefer a medium to well-done carne asada, cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.
    Overhead shot of Searing carne asada in cast iron skillet
  • Step 4
    After cooking the steak to a golden crisp on the outside, set it aside and allow it to rest.
    Then, prep your sides.
    Baby Corn
    Quickly sauté them in the same or different pan, for 3-4 minutes on each side or until fork tender.
    Set out the chimichurri butter in small bowls or smother on the carne asada with a brush.
    Overhead shot of Sauteed Baby corn
  • Step 5
    Once the steak has rested, slice it, sprinkle on a pinch of salt, and place it on the platter with your sides.
    Side view of carne asada platter

Nutrition

Calories: 540kcal
Keyword Carne Asada Plate, Carne Asada Platter, Seared Flank Steak
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